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Information for Individuals

Who Is Affected by OCD?

OCD affects literally millions of people around the world.  In the U.S., current estimates are one in 40 adults and one in 100 school-aged children have OCD, which is between two and three percent of the population.  These estimates lead many to wonder how OCD could grow from a little-known condition just a few years ago to one of such widespread proportions today.

Once considered a rare condition, experts now believe OCD was often misdiagnosed in the past.  Many OCD sufferers did not seek treatment from a mental health professional, so reporting numbers did not reflect the true numbers of cases.  And it’s likely that many people with the disorder hid the truth from everyone but their closest family, for fear of exposure, gossip and shame.

Fortunately, treatment is available today, and people with OCD can get relief.  That’s good news for the six to nine million Americans with OCD, and the millions of others who are also affected when a family member, spouse, friend or student has OCD.

But despite the breakthroughs in treatment, many physicians and mental health professionals may not recognize the symptoms of OCD, or know how to treat the symptoms.  Therefore, it’s important to learn to recognize the behavior associated with OCD and, if seeking help for yourself or someone you care about, locate a therapist who is trained to treat OCD.

OCD symptoms

Read personal stories of successfully treating OCD

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